Work Study!

Yes, I’ve been very quiet this week; at least in terms of writing to the web log. Mostly it’s been a matter of physical and intellectual exhaustion. While the format was ostensibly three hours of intense clinic/camp format in the morning followed by four hours of fairly intense labor in the afternoons; you should understand also that a certain number of hours had to be set aside for designing camp curriculum and setting the floor. I was also pretty much responsible for having tools and supplies organized and ready for my small army of worker/campers! Adding to that a couple evenings of private lessons or class; and throw in a TDAA BOD conference call (three hours of mind numbing ad infinitum detail) made for a pretty full week.

We did an amazing amount of work. We split a couple years worth of firewood for the main cabin and for the two lower rec cabins. We painted and textured all of my contact equipment. We detailed the training building; and mowed the lower training field. We also picked up and hauled a couple tons of mulch and rebuilt the equipment storage tent on the back of the training building. That doesn’t sound like a very long list. But it was a heap of work.

And we had a fabulous agility camp. I pretty much customized the instruction to immediate needs which, even in a small group like this, was quite diverse. It’s interesting that the work/study format creates a different kind of bonding for us all. We established a productive and easy relationship that allowed us to study and practice with easy familiarity. It was quite fun.

Before anybody arrived I managed to put a sprain in my left knee… trying to put out a fire I’d started by being inattentive to the burn barrel. It got all swollen and painful. And I expect that if I’d seen a doctor about it he would have told me to put ice on it and keep it up in a chair for a week or two. You know… he would have told me to chill. As it was, and as it is ever, the show must go on. So I managed both camp instruction and hours of rigorous manual labor without having time or opportunity to coddle my knee.

A Simple Misdirection Exercise

From the onset, this sequence is designed to take away any kind of lead-out advantage.  Or to put it another way… there is no advantage to leading out. The two misdirection traps are presented to the dog at the #3/#5 jump.

What is the correct handling if you’re forward of the dog? What is the correct handling if you’re behind the dog? I’m a huge advocate of the proposition “whatever works is right.”.

It’s easy to spot the dropped bar or the wrong course (or for some, the refusal). So if your dog earns a performance error there’s a good chance that you could say that your solution wasn’t right; (don’t forget your option to conveniently just blame it on your dog.)

On the other hand, if your choice of handling slows the dog down, confuses or demotivates the dog, creates the big turning radius, or causes wrenching physical turns… is it actually the right choice, even if the dog gets to the next correct obstacle?

I have my own correct answers to the handling riddle

Bud’s Google-proof Trivia Contest

One of my all-time favorite artists died this year. His work had a powerful influence on my young and impressionable mind… back when it was actually young and impressionable.

This is the cover illustration for a book. Answer this multi-part question: Who was the artist? On what book did it appear? Who was the author of the book?

First correct answer, posted as a reply to this blog post, wins a free copy of the June Jokers Notebook.

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Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston: BudHouston@hughes.net. Check out my latest publication the Jokers Notebook ~ Dog Agility Distance Training Plan – June 2010 available on the Country Dream Web Store: http://countrydream.wordpress.com/web-store/ . Readers of my web log get a discount: Enter “special05” in the box for the discount code. And that will take $5.00 off the price of the order.

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2 Responses to “Work Study!”

  1. Bernie Says:

    Artist: Frank Frazetta
    Book: Conan the Usurper
    Author: Robert E. Howard & L. Sprague de Camp

  2. Adrienne Says:

    If It were me and assuming the start line was behind jump 1 and 2, I would do the following:

    Leave Emma in the upper quadrant. The eact angle would depend on where the startline was. Place myself between jump 1 and 3. Facing her, call her to me and direct her over jump 1. Support 2 while front crossing on the landing side.

    Dog on right and directed over 3 as I was booking to to a front cross on the landing side of 3, I would be aiming my cross roughly for the 25-25 mark.

    Whip into the tunnel. Then dog on left with me hanging back around the 30-30, maybe a step or two towards her to push her over 5. Then a “here” and cheering her on for a speedy finish.

    I have a 14.5″ dog that jumps 12″.

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